Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving

This is a late-titled post--Thanksgiving was almost a week ago.  But really sad, traumatic things have happened since Thursday, and while I'm not the one who was most affected, or who is most sad, the fact is, it happened to all of us in this little work community, and it's surreal and shocking.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.  Ours was quiet and relaxing.  We spent a lot of time together, seeing movies, decorating the Christmas tree, and eating eating eating.  I was dreading this holiday because it was just the two of us without my family and it turned out okay.  Better than okay.

Call your parents today.  Call your brothers and sisters.  Tell them you love them.  Smile at someone in the grocery store.  Say hi to your coworkers.  Compliment someone's shoes.  People are here and then they're gone and it's never easy, it's always a surprise.  Don't be afraid to laugh or cry.  Talk to someone about how you feel.  You're not alone.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Being an Adult

Last week I made a soup that lasted for four days.  I'm not kidding: dinner Thursday, lunch Friday, dinner Saturday, lunch today.  This is clearly indicative of my growth into adulthood.  Even a year ago I was nauseated by leftovers.  Now, I choose to make and eat foods that will last much longer than they should.  It's amazing what happens when groceries are no longer my parents' responsibility.

Speaking of such, I was so full after breakfast yesterday morning that it was all I could do to buy chicken and pork at Harris Teeter.  When I got home I realized the cheese we had was moldy, our salsa had gone bad, and I had been eating candy for most of my meals lately.  This is the other side of adulthood.

So, if you haven't heard, fall is past full swing here.  I'd say it's on the downhill slide to winter, which is strange because it's 70 degrees today.  I think it's a fluke and we're in for tough times soon.  I've been making every excuse to drive down certain roads and through parks to see the trees in the last month.  Sometimes I don't notice; other times, I say, "Oh my God, Nick, look at that tree!  It's red!  Take a picture!"  Living in Florida for the majority of my life has led me to this utter fascination with fall.

A tree outside our apartment.  As of this morning, it's pretty much bald.

Randolph Road and Parklawn Drive in Rockville

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Women in Primetime

I'm terrible at keeping a theme here.  Also, I'm terrible at scheduling posts.  That Christmas presents post wasn't supposed to go up until yesterday.  What the hell, Blogger?

Anyway, I was working from home yesterday and turned on the first episode of PBS's America in Primetime, which focused on women in television.  It spanned the timeline of television: from Lucy and June Cleaver to the women of Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives.  I've always been a television watcher--it was way more interesting than anything going on in my life, even as a little child--so I recognized most of these characters, even if I didn't grow up in the original era.

I don't know if you've seen it, but basically it talks about women's roles in television.  June Cleaver was the (a)typical fifties housewife; Mary Tyler Moore as Dick Van Dyke's wife was a game-changer, as was her later role on her own show; Roseanne, Murphy Brown, Carrie Bradshaw--all were iconic in their own ways.  As the social scene changed, female characters did too--sometimes as a cause or an effect, depending on the situation--and there were very few examples of weak, dependent women who left lasting impacts on society (however, they focused on sitcoms only, so the reality television stars of today were nowhere to be found.  I've yet to think of any of them as a role model).

Anyway, I'm watching this as I'm peeling carrots and parsnips and garlic.  I'm watching it as I'm cleaning the giblets out of a chicken.  I'm watching as my boyfriend sits at his office, not even thinking about who will make dinner.  I'm watching and realize I'm actually wearing an apron.  And I'm listening to these women talk about how they didn't just want to be a housewife, how they wanted more, how what they did was good, hard work and how they loved it.  I'm thinking about how I used to yearn for that, and now all I yearn for is bedtime.  I'm wondering what happened.

I tend to be pretty domestic, either as a direct result of my living situation or as a way to cope with it.  Things like sewing, embroidery, cooking, baking--these are comforts to me.  I don't do it because I have to.  I could just as easily not go grocery shopping and buy a rotisserie chicken from Giant every night.  But I take on this role because the responsibility makes me feel important.  I feel like, because I'm not fulfilled in my career, I can possibly fulfill myself at home by making something with my own hands.  I think this is a wholly modern way of looking at this, similar to depression: we live in an age where we actually have time to assign roles and feelings to these actions.  One hundred years ago, that wasn't the case.  You cooked because there was no Chinese takeout.  You didn't have time to sit around and think about how you want more from life.  You worked, and you worked hard, unless you were wealthy and could afford to have others work for you.  Fulfillment?  What's that?

They also brought up the subject of children, and how many of these female television characters who we remember and love (any of the above I mentioned) either chose to not have children or had them, but were very honest about it.  Motherhood wasn't what they expected, and while they are fictional characters, they're voicing the opinions and feelings of millions of women who might not be able to admit it to their friends and families.  That, honestly, scares the shit out of me.  I am inundated with people and blogs who think motherhood is the end-all, be-all, and that's what all women need to do: nurture.  Everyday I read the mommies who seem to have a never-ending supply of fertilized eggs, yet still have time to make melted-crayon art and yarn sculptures.  They seem happy (of course, I'm reading this through a sponsored blog), but is this all it's cracked up to be?

My mom always worked.  I remember her being exhausted, too tired to deal with us, depressed, overwhelmed, overprotective, anxious.  I also remember her being a loving mom.  But there were no misconceptions about her life: it was hard.  It was probably the hardest thing she's ever had to do.  And from the time I was little, I thought, I don't want that.  I don't want to feel so tired and so futile everyday.  No matter what she did, how many Christmas cards she made on her day off or how many pies she baked out of stress, she still had to wake up the next day and do everything over again.  That was my role model.  I love my mother--she is who I trust the most--but she wasn't the omnipresent mommy blogger I see today.  Things were very different, and I wonder if that will be my life someday.  Do I want that?

I wonder if, because I don't like working and also because I don't like the idea of having children, I'll ever find that happy medium.  I couldn't be a housewife, at least not in the typical sense; I hate cleaning and would eventually resent Nicholas for getting to have an outside life.  But I also don't want to feel like I wasted my life because I had children (or didn't), and I don't want to realize this when it's too late to change.

Is it normal to feel so conflicted?  This angst should've left years ago, along with retainers and listening to the Velvet Underground.  I feel that, at 24, I should know what I want out of the next five, ten years.  In actuality, I have no clue.  Do you feel this way too?  Am I the only one left wondering?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Polenta is the same thing as grits

It's happened: I'm playing Christmas music in my cubicle.  I officially don't give a shit about it anymore.  I've barely slept, I brought tomato sauce for lunch (more on that later), and someone left me a passive aggressive note about my coffee mug.  Monday, I'm over it.

This weekend was bizarre.  There was snow!  In October!  In Maryland!  What?  Yeah.  So to tally it up, it snowed in Jacksonville last year before we moved, it snowed here in late March after turning to spring, we had an earthquake the same week we had a hurricane, and now it snowed for hours (seriously...like six hours) in October.  I don't really know what's happening anymore, but I want out.

Me in the snow

Snow in our complex
At least none of it stuck.

Christmas Presents

This is one of those times I'm really glad I don't get a whole lot of traffic, because I can post Christmas presents and people will never find out before they're unwrapped.

I decided to put my talents to good use this year and sew some presents for my family.  Not everything's getting something handmade--Jake and Nick aren't, for example, because they'd probably hate whatever I made--but I thought it'd be a nice way to hone my skills and still get some presents done.  I've been working on them for about a month (and planning much longer) at a turtle's pace--I'll cut something out and won't sew it for three weeks.  Terrible.

But before I get into gifts, here's something I did for Nick a week ago that made me want to kill myself:

Elbow patches!  What a pain in the ass, let me tell you.  I had to go to two stores to find the ones he wanted, and then I looked into the process: because he tore a hole in the elbow, I had to darn the hole and then sew the patch over it.  Ugh.  And he has another one waiting for mending.  Someone's learning how to sew next time!

Okay, okay.  Here are the presents:



An iPad case for my dad.  He loves motorcycles, but I felt super weird about making him something with half-naked girls posing on motorcycles--pretty much the only fabric I found.  So the Michael Miller wheels seemed to convey the message, and the black and orange theme is Harley-Davidson-centric.  This also has a pocket and closes with Velcro.  I got the pattern on etsy.


A matching MacBook case for my dad.  The inside is also orange and this closes with Velcro, as well.



A MacBook case for Kali, using Michael Miller fabrics that I originally bought for an Amy Butler Lotus tank, then gave to my mom so she could make a Birdie sling for my cousin Maddie (confused yet?  Me too).  Kali loved the fabric when she saw it at my mom's house and wanted the Birdie sling, but it wasn't meant to be.  I'm making her a Birdie sling, but not out of this.  This pattern is also from Etsy.


Oh, and if things ever get too bad for you, remember: it snowed here Saturday.  That's the scene from Joann's.  I know I mentioned this yesterday, but it bears repeating.

I'm hoping to get the Birdie sling done this weekend, though I've been working on my hand embroidery in the process.  I feel like Holly Hobby over here.  Whatever happened to feminism in the Sposetta household?!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese

I'm a day late on this one because I was too busy being depressed over dinner last night to do anything but watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  Also, Sally is my new role model, I've decided.  She knows what she wants and she may mess up some things along the way but that doesn't stop her.  Also she has fun hair.

Anyway, last night I got home from work and started on my roasted garlic and fennel.  I bought a pork tenderloin on Tuesday from Trader Joe's and decided to make it Thursday.  I found the recipe on Martha Stewart and decided, what the hell, I might as well do it.

So the garlic and fennel are roasting, and I decided to start with the rub on the pork.  One problem: I open the package and I'm hit with the smell of hard-boiled eggs.  Hmm.  I've never made pork tenderloin before; is this typical?  A call to my mother confirms that no, this meat is rotten, and I need to get rid of it.  I wrap it in two bags and take it downstairs.

Nick didn't feel like picking up anything on the way home (when it comes to stuff like this, I think he just expects me to take care of anything, meaning he doesn't need to actually think about what he's eating for dinner), so I sat on the couch and pouted for a while and then heated up the leftovers from the following macaroni and cheese decadence.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Roasted Chicken Success

Is it normal to be tired every second of every day?  I don't think so.  I have a physical scheduled for next week and I feel like my doctor should be able to tell me why I'm always tired.  I know that's over-simplifying things, but that's just how I feel.  I've been exhausted for ten months, and it's time to move on.

Anyway, last night was another successful dinner.  Tuesday was a better night and I didn't let that stupid raw chicken get the best of me (again).  I've never roasted a chicken before, so this was all new territory.  Actually, all of the dinner was all new territory.  There were three new foods included in dinner, and two new recipes.  Can you believe it?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I'm Back, With Dinner

I know, I know.  It's been forever.  I was busy, then I wasn't, and all through it, I really didn't feel like talking.  I think that's when you're supposed to talk the most, because if you don't, you might blow up, but I just felt like everything I would say would end up being nonsense or just emotional words strung together without the makings of sentences.  So I took some time away.

In the last month, I've worked and sewn.  I've gotten my car back and enjoyed driving every second.  I picked apples, used my camera (haven't done that in months), and bought saddle shoes.  It's been a month, pretty much.

Lately, food has been on my mind a lot.  Granted, it's always on my mind: I make our dinners, and some of our breakfasts and lunches, so I tend to be always either planning a meal, making a meal, or cleaning up after a meal.  This makes me sound too domesticated, right?  Remember the days when I couldn't afford rice?  Yeah, I do too, and those days were awful.  I'd walk around Publix and think about what my $10 could buy me--would I get graham crackers or black beans?  What could last longer?  Looking back, I really appreciate that I went through those times, because it taught me that food wouldn't always be there.  I grew up in a family that didn't have to worry about food.  My parents struggled before they had us, and after that, we always had a full pantry.  Living on my own made me realize that sacrifices need to be made sometimes--which led to eating one Pop-Tart for lunch and the other for dinner some days.

Now that I'm in a relationship and we both make enough money to afford both rent and food (and occasionally fabric, beer, magazines and shoes), I'm able to look through my cookbooks and actually take action instead of dream or ask my mom to make it for me when I come home next.  This is home now, and if I want something made, I need to make it myself.

I'm not saying this is going to become a food blog.  I'm not writing this to become the next Smitten Kitchen or Orangette or one of the other millions of food blogs.  This is just on my mind now.  I need to feed my (small) family.  Sewing will still creep in.  Love will still creep in.  I will most certainly have another mini breakdown before the year is over.  But right now, this is what's in my head.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Brain Hurts.

September is a really long month when you work with or for the government.  It's the last month of the year, so any and all unallocated funds need to be used.  This creates a lot of last-minute work for us minions.  As a result, I've been working ridiculous hours and feel like I haven't left the office since, well, August.

There's also just been a lot of bad lately.  Long hours, car accidents, exhaustion, sickness.  I'm just so tired, you guys.

I read this on Ashley's blog  and asked her if it was okay to take it for my own.  A fellow redhead, I'd like to think she gave me permission out of solidarity.

A. Age: Just barely 24

B. Birthplace: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

C. Chore you hate: Just about all of them.  I've gotten used to cleaning the litter box and vacuuming, but I'm not a fan of cleaning.  Don't worry--just because I don't like it doesn't mean I don't do it!

D. Dogs: My mom has a dog, but so far none for us.  I feel bad keeping a dog in our apartment, so we're waiting until we have a house.  We want a Westie and a big dog.  

E. Essential start to your day: Checking my email as soon as I wake up.  A sign of the times.

F. Favorite Color: Dark purple and gray.  

G. Gorges on: Candy!  It's what I crave when I'm stressed, happy, in love, scared, sleepy...

H. Hoards: Mascara.  I need at least one unopened tube at all times.

I. Instruments you play: I used to play the piano.  I think I could handle the triangle.

J. Job Title: Training Coordinator

K. Kicks: I wear my Toms to commute (they now have multiple holes...talk about classy) and I have black heels of varying heights in my desk drawer.  On the weekend, it's my Toms, sandals in the summer or flats.

L. Last read: What'd I read last?!  I think it was the memoirs of the author of Orangette.  




M. Music all-time fave: The Beatles

N. Nicknames: Em.  Easy peasy.  (That's not my nickname; it's just an easy nickname to have when your name is Emily.)

O. Office decor: I have pictures of my family and Nick, as well as a heart banner I got at Paper Source last winter and some gifts I've been given.  Also lots of papers, training catalogs and shopping bags I keep forgetting to take home.  And there's a dirty Crate and Barrel mug hanging out.  I need to wash that.

P. Phobias: Lizards and frogs, crickets.  Heights.
Q. Quote of the day: "You can't fix stupid.  Lord knows I've tried." - Dad

R. Random fact: I don't like guacamole, but I do like avocados.  Sit on that.

S. Siblings: Just Jake.  He's 22.

T. Things that tick me off: Laziness, procrastination, bragging and elitism.

U. Underwear: Right now?  They're navy.

V. Vegetables you hate: Squash



W. Word of the day: Accident

X. Xylophone concerts given: I'll have to check my records.

Y. Yummy food that you make: Everything I make is yummy!  Haha.  Actually I make a mean snickerdoodle and my buttercream icing is to die for.

Z. Zoo animals: Giraffes.  



So now look at what you know!  Someone should write a book about me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy Birthday

I wanted to write this before it got pushed out of my brain to make room for some useless piece of information (most likely related to Eleanor, work or grocery shopping).

I've been dying to see my parents lately.  Last week I looked at plane tickets to see if I could feasibly go home for a weekend next month.  (No.)  I bug them all the time about coming up.  It was really hard for me to think that I wouldn't see them again until Christmas, and hadn't seen them since June.  I was quickly becoming the depressed girl at work, because all I thought about was how much I missed my family and how unfair it was that my coworkers got to see theirs regularly, even if they don't live in the area.

My birthday was last Friday.  I took the day off but hadn't planned anything.  Nick kept bugging me about it, where we would go eat or what I would do on my day off, but every time I sat down to think about it, I become overwhelmed and had to stop.  So I said I didn't know, I'm too busy to think about it, and pushed it away.  Thursday afternoon was rough.  Work was a monster and I was looking forward to a night of more working (after over eight hours already in the office), washing all my clothes because I was wearing my last clean bra, and cooking an uninspired chicken dinner.  I wasn't pleased with the entire situation, and I kept thinking that if I still lived in Florida, I'd at least have people to spend my time with.

My mom and dad had had a lot of interest in my birthday in the weeks leading up to it, asking what I had planned and what I wanted, what was happening, what I would do on my day off.  I never had an answer besides "Nothing."  Thursday, my mom told me she wanted me to open my gifts as soon as I got home--she knew they'd be arriving by Priority Mail that afternoon.  Feeling especially sorry for myself, I told her I had too much to do and couldn't think about it at the moment.  All I could think about was this shitty birthday I'd be spending alone (well, with Nick, but I'd be alone all day) and I had no one to blame but myself, because I wanted to take a job hundreds of miles away from everyone I know.  I don't have any friends, my family is far away, and my cat hates me.  Might as well go stick my head in the oven.

I got off the Metro Thursday and got on the elevator, climbing the twenty stories to the mezzanine level to make the long, depressed trek home.  And then I saw them.  My parents were standing just outside the gates, holding gifts and a birthday cake.  I couldn't believe it.  I immediately started crying.  I wasn't even embarrassed.  Wouldn't you?  They told me they got in this morning, it's been planned for at least a month.  They knew we couldn't be together for Thanksgiving, so they wanted to do something special for my birthday.  As we walked to my apartment, I kept thinking how this wasn't really happening, and yet, it was exactly as I wanted and imagined.  All day I thought about how I wanted my parents to show up, and there they were, walking down Georgia Avenue next to me, petting my cat once we got inside and telling me it was okay my apartment was a mess.

I opened all the gifts and we sat and talked.  Nicholas had no idea they were there.  I think he was even more surprised than I was.  We all went out to dinner.  I couldn't believe it.  I was getting what I wanted for my birthday.

So I spent a great weekend with my parents.  We didn't do a whole lot--they wanted to see the renovated American History museum, but the rain kept us inside most of Friday.  Mostly we walked around and shopped.  I took my mom to my yarn store, and Saturday we went to Bethesda and Arlington, driving around and seeing what they don't usually get to see.  I didn't want it to end.  I wanted them to move up here, or for us all to move somewhere else together.  (I'm not moving to Florida.  No way, no how.)  We talked about the living situation up here, how Nick thinks I may lose it if we spend more than a couple years here.  They tried to buy me things and I politely refused each and every one.  We took them to District Taco so they could discover the beauty and wonder found in that little restaurant.  They left Sunday morning and I was immediately depressed.

I'm so happy they came up, and I'm so lucky to have them as my parents.  I don't know how they knew I needed to see them, but they did.  It's so hard to be up here with only Nick and Eleanor, trying to make it and not being sure if I even want to.  I know I'm not even the first person to do this, so I shouldn't be so pitiful, but I am.  I look around and see people who are surrounded by their family and friends, and I don't have that, and it sucks.  But they're just a plane ride away, it seems.

I won't see my parents again until Christmas, when we drive down for a week.  I already miss them, and missed them as soon as I dropped them at the Metro.  But it'll be okay.  Everything will work out. This isn't forever, and at some point, our paths will line up again, and we won't have to fit all the neighborhood-walking/shoe-shopping/joke-making we can into one weekend, but rather, as long as we like.

I wish Jake would've been able to make it up.  I kept waiting for him to walk through the door, but it never happened.  Which is fine, but I miss him as well.  I'll see him in December.

Happy birthday to me--twenty-four isn't looking so bad right now after all.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day Weekend and Cake

Today seems like a wasted day.  It's rainy and dark and chilly - I should be at home reading on the couch, not sitting at my desk at work!  I definitely shouldn't be wearing a skirt either.  I should be in pajama pants.  Unfortunately, I don't think work cares, so I'm here.  I know it was a three-day weekend and all, but still, work schedules should be based on weather, not hours.

I'm trying to think back over the weekend, remembering what happened, what I can tell you, but I'm coming up with nothing.  I worked from home Friday so it seems like the weekend started forever ago.  Sometimes long weekends are like that, and while I'm not dying to get back to work, the disruption in my schedule is enough to make me crazy.  For example, by Monday afternoon I was about ready to stab Nick in the neck just because I was so annoyed with everything he was doing.  And it's not like he's a generally annoying person, but once you spend long amounts of time with the same person everyday, all day--well, they become the worst person you've ever met.  I'm sure he felt the same about me, so no hard feelings.  This is what happens in a one-bedroom apartment without friends.

We did celebrate his birthday finally.  Though I made him dinner (and cookies!) on his actual birthday, it wasn't until Friday that I had time to make a cake, and Saturday that we were able to drive to Virginia to eat at District Taco.  We also stopped at Total Wine because it is September, and September means fall beers are out.  As a result, over forty beers now reside in our kitchen, but not all of them will fit in our fridge.  We obviously need a bigger place.

We also ate at Taylor Gourmet yesterday.  I read about it in Dwell a couple years ago (while I was still living in Savannah) and was pretty much amazed that they owners were handsome men who could cook.  While we were in Bethesda yesterday we decided to stop for lunch.  We definitely weren't disappointed.  It's a collection of salads, sandwiches and appetizers, but the bread is fresh, the mozzarella is moist, and the turkey is roasted.  They serve Pellegrino and Boylan sodas.  And they have risotto balls!  We weren't hungry enough to buy an appetizer, but damn were they tempting.  I highly recommend it, whether you're on K Street, H Street, or Bethesda Row.

Here are some pictures!

My assistant
Friday was all Christmas, all day
My slanted cakes.  Apparently my oven doesn't heat evenly.  Oh well, once you put some frosting on top, who really cares?
It's officially fall!



Cake!  Ina Garten's coconut cake and frosting, with lemon filling between the layers


Two J. Crew skirts picked up from a thrift store.  Love it!
My new Colette Violet blouse.  Since this picture was taken, I've added navy bias binding and elastic to the sleeves.
So that's about it.  My birthday is this week, and though I've taken the day off, I currently have no plans.  Art museum, maybe?  Sleeping until 2?  (Probably not.)  I'm not sure.  If anyone has any free ideas, please pass on.  I don't have any money, but I have an entire day to myself.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I'm a Knitter.

My mom started knitting a couple weeks ago on a whim.  Her sewing machine is packed away, awaiting their move, but she still needed something to do with her hands so she booked a class and started knitting.  She's really gotten into it (though I've yet to see pictures of anything, much less a finished project) and I thought, well, I can do that!  Plus, everything on Purl Soho makes me want to die of happiness, so what the hell, I decided to go for it.

Hurricane Irene was set to blow through here over the weekend, so I made sure to stop at Barnes and Noble and the library for books and magazines.  I picked up Interweave Knits, Knit Scene (a bit strange to me, but maybe I just didn't get it?), Last Minute Knitted Gifts, a Christmas knitting book (never too early!) and the Ultimate Knitting Bible.  I read them all and realized I have no idea what's going on.  I know what needles are.  I know what yarn in.  Besides that, I may as well be blind.

After deciding I'd be confused forever, I went to my LYS yesterday to pick up yarn and needles in order to familiarize myself and perhaps make friends instead of feeling scared.  Little did I know I'd become a knitter an hour later.  Even though there was a party going on, the owner offered to teach me right then and there, and off I went, with some size 8 circulars and worsted wool.  I cast on about 30 stitches (is it cast or casted? It seems weird to say cast in the past tense), knit, purled, knit and purled.  And then I went home, after meeting all these fertile Jewish women and their talented fingers.  As soon as I got home, I messed up a row (exhaustion and excitement overload?) and then did better.  Though I'm sure there will be comments when I go back for my follow up lesson.

So now I'm trying to decide what I want to make.  Scarves and blankets most definitely.  Does anyone have any blog recommendations?  I'm a little over seeing people only sew for their children (so, so over that, actually) so any young, "hip" knitters who don't make dumb things would be great!

Here are some pictures:
Learning in the store

On the kitchen table

Our first hint of fall?  Taken last week - today it's only in the 70s

Northwest DC from Rosslyn

Monday, August 22, 2011

Badasses

I read this article after finding it on the Fibre Space blog--okay, first thing's first, I'm probably going to take up knitting as soon as I can find a class near me.  I apparently don't have enough hobbies--and it kind of shocked me, but at the same time, made me sad for someone so close-minded.

The author, Peg Aoli, is basically saying that only women who ride motorcycles, come up with a sequel to "Rebel Grrl" and give their newborns tattoos are strong women.  We as a society are soft and meek, reverting to Mamie Eisenhower instead of Eleanor Roosevelt.  We make cupcakes not because they're hiding switchblades for our boyfriends in jail, but because we think someone would enjoy them.  And then we blog about it!  The horror!!

I read through the first page of comments and didn't see a single one in support.  Most women were knitters, bakers, mothers, volunteers, daughters of feminists, feminists themselves--they were certainly women who don't make money yelling at their girlfriends on Bravo original television.  They were real women with real lives, keeping it together everyday in this hell-in-a-handbasket world.  So that makes me think the author may not actually believe in what she's saying.  Maybe she wrote this to rally together the strong women--the real women--just to see what they're capable of.  I mean, come on, she says Sookie Stackhouse and the woman from Sons of Anarchy (my dad's favorite show--definitely not a feminist there!) should be our role models today.  No thank you.

If, in fact, the author does believe this, then I feel bad.  I don't necessarily think of myself as a badass or a strong, resilient woman--I tend to cry a lot and I've thrown the occasional pity party--but I'm making it, day to day, just like everyone else.  And I also happen to sew, bake, cook, clean, and maybe I'll be knitting soon.  Just like the generations before me--none of which rode a motorcycle or ate bonbons.

Why do we feel the need to categorize women?  Why aren't we saying anything about men who get manicures or shine their shoes?  Get over it!  It's 2011.  I think we all have bigger problems on our plates than whether or not we're cool enough for some HuffPo writer.

And that was Monday's rant, everyone.  I'm exhausted and would really like some bread.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

In Response to Girlfriends

Things have been heavy around here, at least to me.  What's up with that?  Wouldn't you all rather just read about fabric or something?

Anyway, go here today and read about a woman in my predicament: no girlfriends.  I came across this entry in my Google Reader this morning and thought, "YES.  THIS."  Because we don't have any friends here and, while I've never been a girlfriend girl, it was always nice to have someone to shop with, someone who doesn't spend 45 minutes looking at beer glasses in Crate & Barrel.

I've never met the woman who writes that blog--can't even recall her name, honestly--and we're in very, very different places in our lives, but sometimes people just get you.  And it's nice to know I'm not the only one trying to figure out how to make friends in a grown-up world.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wherein I Discover I'm Boring

I don't normally read New York-based magazines or newspapers (besides the Style section of the Times, and I read that online on Monday mornings), because I've never been there, I'm not familiar with the area, and I cannot lose the label "outsider" plastered on my forehead.  New York, to me, isn't like D.C.: besides the obvious, on a personal note, I would read the Washington Post daily because I knew the area.  I visited, I was a former resident, and it felt more like home than my physical address in Jacksonville.  I mean, things change (as we can all tell), but that's how it was for six years.

Just stick with me through this.  I'm trying to wade through a lot here, and if you give up now, you're gonna miss out.

Six years, you guys.  The better part of a decade, stretching from high school to post-college years.  All I wanted was to move back to D.C.  I would visit in the fall and spring and just want to smell the concrete and feel the wind whipping between the buildings.  I would step on the Metro and feel like I was a local, even though I was only in town for a weekend.  I thought, that's my answer!  That's what I need!  Everything will be better!

Why didn't I see that as my first mistake?

Sometimes my obsessions turn unhealthy, as this one did.  As soon as we crossed the Maryland state border, this fixation rotted in my palm.  Since moving here, I've had an endless string of drama, mostly internal but also concerning Nick: our flus, his unemployment, nonexistent college degrees, break-ins, two kidney infections, bank account overdrafts, armed robbery.  Not to mention the unreliable landlord (and even less reliable electricity and air conditioning) and our complete lack of friends or family close by, or even within short driving distance.  It's been eight months without sleep and with constant nausea.  Every week brings a new issue and a new breakdown.

After the armed robbery outside my apartment last week--the final straw in the recent outbreak of crime, we heard the woman screaming while making our dinner--I lost all sanity in regards to our living situation.  I had previously told my landlord we'd stay for 2012, as our lease ends on December 31.  I soon realized I couldn't live here, in a place that disregards safety to the point where I no longer am able to go to the grocery store by myself because two men with a shotgun are free to confront me at the car door.  I don't want to live like that.  We pay too much for me to resign myself to hermithood.

So we set out on the apartment hunt.  We have very specific requests: our budget is $1300 (and that's maximum--we currently pay $1250), we need at least 800 square feet, and we want free laundry on-site.  This is all what we currently have.  However, Washington, D.C's metro area had different ideas.  We've contacted five apartments since Saturday; all have come back as scams (if you Google "D.C. Craiglist scams," you'll see an example, though two of the apartments were also on Realtor and Zillow).  This is incredibly discouraging and disheartening.  I feel as if I'm not important enough to be safe in my neighborhood because I can't afford it.  Forget that we have good jobs and we pay taxes and we take care of ourselves; because we can't afford $2300 a month for a one-bedroom apartment, we deserve to be robbed as we carry in our groceries.

So naturally, my thoughts have drifted elsewhere.  But what if we moved here?  But what if we moved there? How much would it cost to go south about three hundred miles?  I've never been out west; why don't we see what's out there?  Nick is rooted and has trouble understanding why I ask "What if?" all the time.  It's in my blood to be discontent, to worry, to uproot at the soonest sign of a problem.  However, he also understands my very valid points: larger apartments or houses, half of what we're paying now, and we have the space for a dog (something he wants more than anything else in the world).  But until we can find him a job, we are stuck.  And we have no hope of finding our way out just yet.

Anyway, back to New York.  I came across this article on Jenna Lyons on Twitter.  I worked at J. Crew right after Mickey Drexel become the CEO, while the brand was shifting (we still had the flannel-lined chinos, but we were also carrying sequined cardigans and strapless tuxedo dresses).  I look back on that time with mixed feelings, because, while I had a lot of inner turmoil, I seriously have never dressed better in my entire life.  Forget that I was three sizes smaller and was also receiving some items at 80% off (not an exaggeration)--I looked awesome.  I'm starting to shop at J. Crew again, after years of avoiding it due to the bad management and bad personalities infiltrating the Jacksonville store, and I wonder just how a clothing company can make you feel like a better person.  I think, if I had the money (read: if I wasn't living here), I could buy that outfit  and that lipstick  and feel like the woman I'm supposed to be.  I should be confident and happy and optimistic.  And these clothes would do that, right?  They'd make me interesting, they'd give me friends, they'd pay my bills without ever taking money out of my teensy account.

Of course, this is a destructive way of thinking, but as I already said, I look to tangible items to make my happy: a new apartment, a new city, a new look.  And this article, with all its mentions of Jenna Lyons and her beautiful office with its expansive inspiration board (along with Anthropologie, Matchbook Magazine, Kate Spade ads and the women I pass on my way to work), makes me feel like an "if only" version of myself.  I'm not writing this to make myself feel better or to look for therapy, but I'm just wondering where it ends.  If we move and I have a charming little Cape Cod with enough space for those new J. Crew wool trousers (in fuschia, please), will I finally chill out?  Or will I scream at the dog when his muddy paws brush against them after running outside in the rain?  You know the answer as well as I do.

I don't think of myself as an interesting person; in fact, most of my personality lies in my hair, and that's a complete coincidence, because I surely didn't ask for it.  I don't go out on weekends and I don't ever have the time (or money, for that matter) to take a vacation.  So maybe that's why I rely on what's within reach to make me more interesting.  That sequined dress makes up for the fact that I have nightmares every night.  And that extra-wide baseboard?  Well, that's there to conceal all the dirty dishes waiting for me to take care of after we eat the dinner I cooked.

I'm within a month of my twenty-fourth birthday and life is not as I imagined.  First off, when I was a kid, I thought 24 was the perfect age to have a baby, so that's been a big change of plans--for the better, though, no complaints.  And I never thought I'd be living with someone and talking about marriage, or living in the suburbs, or just trying to make it through each day without wanting to throw my head against my desk repeatedly.  I thought that 24 would bring me charisma, talent, a big paycheck and a studio apartment.  I thought it would make me interesting, to repeat what I've already said.

However, I've come to find out I'm boring, and I don't know what to do about it.  If only I could afford that wool coat...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Colette Violet Blouse, or, a Productive Weekend

It's been forever since I last sewed anything. Was the Monique dress the last project? Geez! Remember when I was spitting them out two a day? Okay, me either, but still.

I bought the Violet blouse last March or April and have been terrified of it. Its a beginner pattern and I already have all the skills, but the fit was bothering me: it's loose, deliberately not fitted, and I didn't know how to translate this to my body. I have a short torso, narrow shoulders and big boobs. Loose fitting is normally an unwanted side effect, not an intentional "look."

But earlier this week I decided, to hell with it, and cut it out of some really old Erin Michael for Moda fabric. I bought this in 2007. I actually bought a ton of that collection back then: the paint-by-number birds were turned into the Anna tunic last March, and I had made a Swing bag in July 2007 from the chrysanthemums, hexagons and small floral print. What I wouldn't do to get my hands on that line now.

After we ran errands yesterday (I was in the weird mood to go to the mall. I am never in the mood to go to the mall), I decided I may as well do it to it and started sewing. Let me tell you guys, this blouse went together like a dream. I took my time and really worked hard on it, even though it is a beginner pattern and not necessarily difficult. I just wanted it to turn out well, because I want to be able to wear it and not feel like it overtly says, "Hey! I'm Suzy Homemaker!"

So I'll let you all decide how it looks.




I'm an awful poser. We've decided this before. Also, sorry about the apartment shot. We haven't really done any decorating since moving in...seven months ago.




My favorite flowers in the pattern are the orange and purple ones.












Details! Back gathering, Peter Pan collar, wood buttons (with pencil markings. I always have those).




This has nothing to do with anything but this dude has been hanging out at the front gate of our complex since yesterday. I'd imagine he's keeping us safe.



Oh yeah! Frozen custard with rainbow sprinkles. The stuff dreams are made of.

So now I'm sorta at a stop with sewing, because I don't feel like jumping into anything too involved. Actually, I'd like to start on Grace's birthday presents, but the fabric for two of the outfits isn't released until September and October (Aneela Hoey's Little Apples and Lizzy House's Outfoxed, respectively). Patience!

Have a great week, everyone. I'll see ya around. Hopefully more often!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Already

...and, really, not a moment too soon.  I've had a week of training at work--which really means I've been setting up training everyday for a week for other people, but it's really involved and it means I work long(er) hours.  The week flew by, though, thankfully, and now it's a quiet Friday.

Some thoughts from this week (I know, I'm doing an awful job at posting regularly, but give me a break, summer is boring):

  • For a girl who is pretty sure she'd be a terrible mother, it's all I can think about lately.  We aren't sure if we want kids, but we have some ground rules if we do have them: no daycare (I'll stay home--not a huge sacrifice, honestly), no technology (books!), super healthy eating (no childhood obesity--we also don't really eat fast food besides the occasional trip to Chick-Fil-A so this isn't a big deal or change).  But I'm so on the fence about it because, while I know I'm young, I also know I'd want to have them in the next five years, and I also know that I will probably be the least compassionate or sympathetic person ever.  I just...I'm not a kid person.  When I was a kid, I hated kids, and wanted to be around the adults.  They're not all beautiful--there are some babies out there who look like an extra from Saw. And they're on Flickr.  So help us God.
  • I felt like I needed a new bullet here.  Anyway.  I'm reading Naomi Wolf's Misconceptions, about becoming a mother in America.  Holy shit.  I knew things were bad, but I didn't know they were this bad.  It has swayed me to seeing a midwife and having a homebirth without drugs, if I ever do get pregnant.  I absolutely hate going to the doctor and even seeing a needle makes me pass out (not an exaggeration), and this is completely my own opinion, but yeah.  No hospitals for this girl.
  • I have had no patience for sewing lately.  I've cut out three different projects and they're just hanging around in plastic bags because Eleanor gets to them before I do.  I think I'm just tired, but if I don't get a move on, summer will be over and I'll have to wait another year to wear this stuff.
  • Holy crap, guys.  It's August.  Doesn't that blow everyone's mind?  Okay, maybe not, but it does mine.
  • Tomatoes are a perfect after-work snack.
  • Why do some people feel the need to talk so loudly?  You're down the hall in an office--I shouldn't be able to hear your conversation.
  • How does one become a doula?  Not kidding, this could be a career-change.  If I even have a career. A career-start?  I'll get back to that.
  • I'm tired of reading about weddings.  I wasn't invited.  I don't care.  Please stop it.
  • I feel like, because I'm not religious, I really got gipped on the "friends" aspect of church.  I'm not going to compromise our beliefs by dragging Nick to some temple every Sunday, but I know that church is a huge place to meet people.  And I think it's a shame that we've lived in DC for over seven months and we don't have friends besides people we talk to at work.  That's sad.
  • I miss friends.
  • I am so tired.
So there you have it, I'm quite obviously a mess and everyone knows it.  I'm going to see myself as charming, though, and because I'm wearing a totally cute shirt (and jeans--which I haven't worn since May because it's been too damn hot/summer), I'm going to believe it.

Have a great weekend, everyone.  Go have fun for me!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Colette Patterns Rooibos Sewalong



The Colette Patterns Rooibos Sewalong was announced today, and I am definitely participating!  I hope they address how to pronounce the name...

Monday Morning

Does anyone else look around on a Monday morning and think, Where did the weekend go?  Did I even sit down?  Oh my god, did I really build a bookshelf?  (Why yes, yes I did.)

I know this isn't a rare thing to think about.  When I was a kid, I knew weekends were precious to adults, but they were just an extension of boredom to me.  Oh, it's too hot to do pretty much anything?  Wonderful, gives me more time to watch Daria.  (Thanks, 1996.)  Now, I find myself thinking on Sunday nights, Is everything really done?  Am I a bad person because I didn't have time to vacuum?  I hope not.

We don't often have time to do anything truly fun on weekends.  We both work long hours with pretty hefty commutes, so weekends are spent catching up on whatever we didn't have time for during the weekend.  Over-ripe bananas are turned into muffins and full hampers are cleaned and put away.  The refrigerator is stocked and the paperwork is completed.  Anything that has been waiting is neatly filed away.  But where does this leave us?  On Monday morning, my coworkers and I do the general smalltalk of weekends, and they always undoubtedly have fun stories of a new restaurant or a trip to Hains Point.  When I say, oh, I made pulled pork Friday and enchiladas Sunday, and spent 45 minutes in line at Wal-Mart Saturday night, I feel like I'm failing as a twentysomething.  I know we all have different lifestyles--I'm the only one with a live-in partner--but sometimes I think they view me as boring, conservative or scared.  I just don't have the time, is all.  I'd love to go out to dinner each night and linger over drinks, but that takes both hours and dollars that just aren't there.

Does anyone else feel like this?  When I was in college, my friends were older, so we all worked forty hours a week and had secondary responsibilities, whether that was kids, college or husbands.  It wasn't rare to hear someone say that all she did over the weekend was write papers or hand out cold medicine every four hours.  This is the first time I've worked with people my age and basic social group (no hippies who described houses and trees as "magical") and I feel like I'm woefully behind.  I know as long as I'm trucking along I'm doing fine, but is fine acceptable? 

I'd go into talking about my birthday plans (none!), but I feel like that's a tearful post to be scheduled in September, simply because I have a while to dwell on how I'm not doing anything.

Okay, let's shut up with the negativity.  Here are a couple pictures from the weekend:

Yes, that would be my brand-spanking-new iPad with the chewed cord.  Eleanor is really outdoing herself with the level of sabotage she's performing. 

Oh hey, I built that!  Nick was pickling peppers and I was building a bookshelf.  This is how we work.  However, right after this we went to Ikea and the fabric now lives in neat green boxes.  The tops don't close, but oh well, they're there.
Back to work!  It's another week, getting closer to the holidays all the time.  I'm so ready for fall and, subsequently, Christmas I could scream.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Monique Dress

I don't know about you guys, but it's sending me into a deep depressing knowing I won't have another day off until September.  I know, we all got through winter without anything (for three months!), but I think the combination of no summer vacation and complete boredom is doing me in.  I'd love to take a few days off to just sleep and sew, but until my parents figure out where they'll be and what they'll be doing for the holidays, I can't afford to risk it.  So for now, it's work work work all the time.

I'm just having a weird week in general.  Yesterday felt like I was a kid with ADHD.  I was at work by 7:30 and just couldn't focus.  I'd sit down to work on something, and instead, I'd peel off my nailpolish, or look at the pictures in my cube, or check my phone.  Whatever.  All damn day.  I went to Starbucks (I was exhausted yesterday, which didn't help my focus) and didn't have enough money on my gift card, nor did I take anything but said gift card with me.  The manager covered the $1.18 difference, but have you any idea how embarrassing that is?  Good lord.  By the time we got home from grocery shopping last night (after 8:00), I still hadn't eaten dinner, so I settled for some deli ham and cheese and Nick's leftover Sam Adams. 

Today, while I'm wearing the dress I'm detailing below, I've also dealt with an overdrawn bank account and incessant construction overhead.  I know people overdraw their bank accounts--shit happens, you need to both pay your bills and buy groceries--but I hold myself to such high standards that this is the ultimate failure in my mind.  I can't even handle my money?  How can I handle living on my own and being responsible for other people?  Ugh.

So anyway, let's get into it.  While Nick was gone over the weekend, I sewed, and cut, and bought, and planned, and washed...pretty much everything involved with sewing.

I've had the Serendipity Studios Monique Dress in my stash since I first started thinking about sewing.  The Laura Gunn giant poppies on the front were enough to reel me in.  While I didn't choose that for my dress--it's enough being on my work bag--I still decided to make the dress.

There was one big scary thing involved with this dress: an invisible zipper.  I went in with trepidation, not even knowing how to sew a regular zipper, and came out wtih a fully functional dress!  Now, how do you like that?

Also, all fabric choices were greatly influenced by this post on Patty the Snug Bug.  I bought the shown City Weekend fabrics forever ago and knew that I didn't want to waste them on some future snot-nosed kid, so I better use them now while I have the chance.

I never take good pictures of myself.  I'm just not meant to be a fashion blogger.

The dress, pre-ironing.  I promise I ironed it this morning.  It even still smells like linen water!

Pay no attention to the mismatched waistbands!  Nick thinks they're hilarious; I'm slightly embarrassed but happy to wear a cardigan to cover them up.

Could that be...an invisible zipper?!  Yes it is!  And a hook and eye above it.
It was an okay dress.  I'm used to more professionally-written instructions, so that was hard to get used to.  Also, the waistbands.  What's wrong with me?!  I'm guessing the darts on the bodice just threw it all off, but if I had matched up the waist, the shoulders wouldn't have met.  It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

Some other pictures from my weekend:
My outfit for picking up Nick on Sunday.  We were also going to District Taco.  Again, not a great fashion blogger.


My first four cuts of Children at Play.  Now, what to do with them?
Does anyone have any ideas for the Children at Play yardage?  Again, not holding out for any lameo kids, so how do I use them in a non-cutesy way?  I don't want to be a sexy baby.

My sewing list is stocked up for a while.  I've cut out Simplicity 2154  in the constellation fabric I bought a while ago.  I also bought the new Lisette brown chambray from the fall line and am making the Lisette Traveler dress (view B) in it.  ALSO on the Colette blog yesterday she explained how to create pintucks in the Violet blouse...so I plan on doing that too. 

I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sigh.

This post should contain pictures of the Serendipity Studio Monique Dress I made over the weekend.

However, as I was topstitching the hem last night, the power went out, and didn't come back on until we were in bed.

So that'll be tomorrow's post, I suppose.  Sigh.  How irritating!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gingham Shirts

Let's just say, it's been a day already.  My zipper in my new (only worn once!) skirt broke, it took me over an hour to get to work, and, well, I just don't want to deal with it today.  I want to be at home, sewing, or shopping, or something.  I'm just not into it.

Is this a generational thing?  Maybe we all look back on the '40s and '50s with rose-colored glasses, but you never hear about old people saying they weren't "into" work.  They knew they had to work.  End of story.  Maybe I'm reading too far into things?

Anyway, I sewed a blouse yesterday.  I feel like it's been forever since I've sewn something!  I did make that Modern Marigold Pretty Shirt.  What a nightmare that was.  It's huge!  I look pregnant in it.  So I have to go to JoAnns this weekend and get some white grosgrain ribbon.  I don't normally like belts because I'm so short-waisted (and not wasp-waisted either), but sometimes, you gotta cinch it.  (Gap Girls for the win) (Not the correct link but I couldn't find the one I was looking for.  You get it!)

So I sewed this top with some dotted Swiss my momma gave me.  I have a ton of it.  I'm thinking of also making an Oliver + S Puppet Show tunic out of it, because I've been dying to make one and also because I have a ton of it.


God, could I take worse pictures?  This is a Simplicity Threads pattern, and it seems to have dropped off the pattern planet because it's not on the Simplicity website or Google.  Weird.  It's a pullover and there were separate bodice pieces for different cup sizes.  I love that!  All patterns should have that.  I don't know why the industry standard is a B but it shouldn't be.



Yes, that is me in my office bathroom.  I wanted to show off the J. Crew shirt I bought Saturday.  Gingham!  And it fits perfectly!  I had planned to wear it with the terrible skirt that broke, but instead I had to go with this white skirt, which is too tight but thankfully still zips up.  It's J. Crew, so who knows if I'll be able to afford another one, but I love it and plan on wearing it forever.


This is the skirt that broke.  As you can see, the zipper pull is clearly at the top, but the zipper is pulling apart.  Interesting.  My mom suggested zipping it up and down to get it back on track, which I had Nick do, but it pulled apart as soon as I moved.  And then we couldn't get it off.  It's been a stressful morning.  I've contacted Loft because I bought it with my Loft card last month, but is there anything I can do?  It's an invisible zipper and there's a skirt lining.  How much do seamstresses charge to fix this?

Oh, also, I have a giant zit on my face (right under my nose) and my hair is looking...crunchy.  I should've just stayed in bed.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Adulthood: Scene 1

Our vacuum broke yesterday.  I had declared Sunday the day of cleaning (cleanliness is next to godliness, after all), and before it even started, it stopped.  My mom gave us this vacuum, which she bought in 2001. 

We had to go to Target to buy a new one.  We spent 20 minutes comparing them, Googling "cyclonic action," and debating how much we should spend.

$150 later, we had a new vacuum, with cyclonic action (worth it) and a HEPA filter for pet hair. 

I used it.  I loved it.

Never have I felt more like a housewife.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Slacker

I've been terrible about writing in this lately.  I don't really have an excuse, either.  I guess I'm busy?  Working, taking care of the apartment and Nick (and Eleanor), and the reprise of my kidney infection are all that's going on.  I've sewn a little bit, but not really.  Does sewing charm squares together count?  Yeah, I didn't think so.

I did go shopping this weekend, against Nick's will.  I bribed him with a trip to Crate and Barrel (boy loves him some beer glasses) and just like that!  I was in.  Ever since I started sewing I haven't done much shopping.  A few trips to Loft is all, really, besides picking up the $10 tees at Target which go with everything and are amazingly flattering.  So it was weird to actually spend money on clothes and feel good about it.  I ended up with a few things: a gingham button-up from J. Crew; and a windowpane-check button-up, a madras button-up and a cotton skirt from Land's End Canvas.  Everything was on clearance with an additional percentage off, which made things even better.  Lord knows I hate paying retail (and just about never do).

I also listed some of my clothes on eBay.  I don't really have an emotional attachment to clothes, besides the robe my mom made me when I was nine (that still fits, by the way) (I'm not that small, I just never developed shoulders or a torso).  I'm actually always excited to get rid of things.  So I found eight items that were in perfect shape, some including tags, that I didn't want to give to Goodwill.  I know, that's awful, but I donate to Goodwill a lot, and I shop there too.  I'd like to make some money off of things I've never worn, if at all possible.  So far, no bids, but they do have a lot of watchers.  I'm optimistic.

Anyway!  So I was in J. Crew, heading straight to the sale section--after working there, I don't bother with the new stuff.  It'll be on sale soon enough--and so much of what I saw along the way was beautiful and classic--and yet so ridiculously easy to make.  Shift dresses, camisoles, straight skirts (one was a complete rip-off of the Colette Beignet, with the buttons down the front--that style looks awful on me but I know a lot of people like it)--all you need is the pattern and your fabric and you're made in the shade for a third of the price.  Or a quarter.  Really, they're just overpriced.

Do not even tell me you couldn't make this.  It's a cotton pencil skirt!  And it retails for $98.00!  Just do it!




So that got me thinking, I see things everyday in magazines and stores that I want, but that I'm not willing to pay for.  I think everyone does this.  Maybe not the rich and famous, but I doubt anyone rich and famous--besides Mellow Mushroom--is reading my blog.  Why am I not remembering these?  Pinterest is a pain.  It always freezes my computer and I hate hate hate seeing all the "exercise routines" and "thinspiration."  Barf, people, go hang out with some middle schoolers if you're into that.  So I started a tumblr. again.  I know, it's so weird.  Now I should go hang out with the middle schoolers.  I don't plan on using it as I did my old one, but only as a place to store images.  A virtual bulletin board that Eleanor can't knock over and that won't freeze my computer, if you will.  If you're interested, go check it out: Pearl Cotton.  If not, well, whatever, that's fine, it's my bulletin board anyway.

Also, just a note: I've been dying to open that fabric store lately.  How do people do this--start a business, leave their jobs, follow their dreams?  Does anyone have an anecdote?  On that same note, would anyone like to help me out?  We can be broke and overworked together!

Also!  Happy birthday to my lovely cousin Jessica!  I wish I was there to celebrate and eat some strawberry pie with her.  Happy birthday Jesse!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy birthday, America!

I love long weekends.  I have three days to do what I normally cram into two, Eleanor wonders what the hell I'm still doing around on a Monday (she knows her days of the week), and Nick starts to get on my nerves by Sunday night.  But no, really, they're the best.

We tried to step out of the box this weekend and not sit around for hours at a time, watching Say Yes to the Dress marathons ("we" = "I").  Saturday we spent the day in the sweltering heat, walking around Capitol Hill and Old Town Alexandria.  We really weren't prepared for the heat, as the last 90 degree day we had was in May.  It was a little rough and I single-handedly disproved the belief that women don't sweat, they glow.  No, I was sweating.  We were also verbally attacked by a Metro employee (we've reported her but have yet to hear anything back from WMATA) and dealt with really loud tourists.  But all in all it was a fun day.

The rest of the weekend was spent running various errands, though we did eat at Mussel Bar in Bethesda last night.  I thought it was delicious.  I don't eat mussels (or really any seafood, save crabs and lobster) so I had the prime rib steak sandwich with frites and a glass of rose.  I know, wine?  For me?  But their beers were mostly imported and I'm an American craft beer enthusiast.  We also ordered dessert, which I haven't done in God knows how many years.

So here are some pictures.  Did  you all have a nice weekend?  The next long weekend is Labor day!  Can you believe it?  This year is flying by.

Starting out the day as two innocent kids who had no idea of the messed up people they would encounter on their adventures.

Navy diver punching a shark, something you can only see at the Eastern Market

Mmm, green tomatoes

The vendor was offended I was taking pictures of her flowers instead of buying them.  Sorry!

Hill's Kitchen, where I bought two icing spatulas and a present for my mom.  Way to go crazy!

The stuff nightmares are made of.

Letterpress

I love these porcelain milk jugs

Ahhh, finally.

California Pizza Kitchen

Fried Mac and Cheese!


Some of the weird produce at Safeway

Eleanor enjoys helping us with laundry

A monkey dressed like a banana at the Paper Source in Bethesda
 
Images by Freepik